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The Specials [DVD] [2000]

Paget Brewster , Thomas Haden Church    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 4.99
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The Specials [DVD] [2000] + Super [Blu-ray] + Slither [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Paget Brewster, Thomas Haden Church, Rob Lowe, Judy Greer, Sean Gunn
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: In2film
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Dec 2007
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000W22270
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,143 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

The Specials, the seventh greatest superhero team in the world, need to improve their image. Unfortunately, they spend more time bickering about love affairs, fiances and publicity then they do catching Super Villains.

However, The Specials' luck may soon change. The Weevil (Rob Lowe), The Strobe (Thomas Haden Church), Amok (Jamie Kennedy) and the rest of the The Specials hope to gain immortality with their own line of action figures... the superhero equivalent of an Academy Award. Tensions mount when the unveiling of their 'The Specials' toy line makes them look utterly ridiculous. With their dreams shattered, they start fighting amongst themselves and The Strobe, disgusted with it all, disbands the group.

This band of misfit superheroes must now decide whether to go their separate ways or reunite, realizing that whether or not the world needs The Specials, The Specials need each other. Before they can save the world, they'll have to save themselves. This hilarious comedy does for superhero movies what Scream did for horror films and Austin Powers did for spy movies.

Review

"Spinal Tap meets Batman." -- New York Times

"This one’s what Mystery Men should have been." -- If magazine

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I must admit to having some reservations about this film, I expected a surplus of toilet humour, cheap gags, and poor slapstick - but I was pleasantly surprised! Okay, maybe some of the jokes were tacky, but once you're into the film you don't notice!
This film shows a group of heros, that have powers, but unlike the X-men where you see the group save the day, here you see the group bum around HQ, get up in the morning, go out to a bar - just mundane stuff. It's a great film concept, and it's pulled off really well.
The low budget may put some people off, but I think it only adds to the film's feel and character. The Specials barely have a budget for a TV, and having elaborate sets and costumes would have just clashed with that concept. For example, the scene where Weevil visits the crusaders in a huge, ornately decorated office is an excellent contrast to the rest of the sets.
I would recommend this film to everyone, if you've seen Mystery Men, but didn't like it, don't let that put you off - The Specials is very different (the characters actually have decent powers).
Finally, if you can, get the DVD with the commentary - it's the only commentary I've actually listened to the only way through, it's hilarious!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty special 8 July 2004
Format:DVD
In the wake of Mystery Men, and with the rise of costumed heroes in Hollywood once again, I expected to see more films prodding fun, especially with the straight-faced Mutant-X on television. So far though, this is the only one I've come across and I have to say it's really rather good.
The Specials are a superhero team, ranked roughly about seventh in the world. Operating out of a fairly average looking suburban American home, the heroes face a series of threats, like new action figure ranges, what to spend the budget on, marital discord and faulty gadgets.
There are no big superhero battles and nary a sight of a costumed villain. What you do get is a pretty astute film about contrasting personalities and group dynamics... with a little bit about doing the right thing.
And it's funny, not always laugh-out-loud funny but it's consistently amusing and flows well as a film, far better than the bigger-budget Mystery Men in fact. The performers are all spot on, and no-one really outshines their cast members, leaving this as a pretty good ensemble piece.
It's a weird film and at the moment it's damned cheap. In years to come I feel this will pick up a following, but for now take the chance and be the one that introduces it to your friends. It's funny, whimsical, with great characters and a subdued style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film, irritating disc 15 Mar 2013
By Me
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The specials is a fantastic indie bitter-sweet comedy about superheroes on a day when they aren't superheroing. If you haven't watched it - do so now.

Unfortunately, after waiting so long for a region 2 edit, the distributors have burdened this film with a lengthy set of trailers which cannot be skipped, fast forwarded or chapter-skipped. An extremely disappointing move for such an excellent film - if you have a region free player, consider the superior Region 1 version.
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3.0 out of 5 stars funny but rather weird 17 May 2004
Format:DVD
I bought The Specials because it had Jamie Kennedy AND Micheal Weatherly in it! I couldnt believe there was a film out there with both! The plot is strange and there are a few occasions where I cringed at the 'toilet-humor' but its not a bad film. Jamie Kennedy is hilarious...and blue! Weatherly only has a small part but that doesnt matter! It's good for a laugh and I don't regret buying it, even if i hardly watch it. Oh and it has a great soundtrack!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Not as good as regular superheroes...but better than you" 21 July 2006
By H. Bala - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
First of all, I didn't even know this movie existed, that's how low profile it was. I only managed to unearth it in a Blockbusters store, buried under some dvds on sale for $6. Having been a lifelong fan of superheroes, and finding the movie premise somewhat intriguing, I took a chance and bought it. And I'm glad I did.

First of all, this is not your average superhero comic book on cinema. If you pop this in your player, expecting a whiff of X-men type of action and carnage, you'll be hugely disappointed. This film more closely resembles Mystery Men in terms of its cynical, sad sack comedy and wicked digs at the superhero mythology. Mystery Men, if I recall, focused more on the personal foibles of the "heroes" than on actual superheroing. The Specials have even less action - in fact, it has NO action scenes. What it does, instead, is unfold a villain-free day-in-the-life of the Specials.

The plot, as such: The Specials are a bush-league, second-string superhero team, considered the 6th or 7th greatest superhero team around. The team comprises of 12 or 19 members (there is a superhero named 8 - one mind in 8 bodies) and is led by the preachy goody-goody Strobe (Thomas Haden Church). On the verge of getting their own line of Kosgro action figures, the supers fall prey to incessant bickering, which culminates in the break-up of the Specials. Now the disbanded members find themselves rudderless and must do some soul searching and decide on what they really want: go their own separate ways, or come to terms with each other and once more become Special.

This is a low budget film with a semi-indie feel. This flick is also a spoof. It has plenty of satiric elements. It's a "superhero" movie without many special effects (the few f/x we see are at the end, and, brother, do they suck!) But, it doesn't matter. The point never was about the gratuitous spectacular fight scenes, but, rather, the humanizing "behind-the-story" aspects of our masked vigilantes. This picture goes on to show that, underneath the trappings of the glossy superhero veneer, these gifted folks are still inevitably, fallibly human and definitely not error-proof. The viewer is witness to greed, rivalries, jealousies, an extramarital affair, and the misfit deportment of super-nerds, -idiots, and -weirdos. It also makes sense that if superheroes did exist, they'd try to rake in their share of commercial endorsements, corporate sponsorships, and news pub. That's the way of the world, love. Most supers, in my opinion, would strive to "get theirs."

I find the acting to be very good and appropriate for this genre spin. The three main leads (Church, Brewster, and Lowe) do their best with their roles. Church's the Strobe is self-righteous and humorless until he gets the shock of the night, and then sorta comes around. Paget Brewster (guest starred in tv's Friends) is the Strobe's discontented wife Emily (Ms. Indestructible). Paget puts real emotion into her portrayal, ably communicating Emily's dissatisfaction with life and then grief over her transgressions. I think Rob Lowe does credible work as Tony, the Weevil, the most charismatic and popular member of the team. I'll say this, I was semi-stunned with the choice and choice words the Weevil ends up with at the end of the film.

The supporting cast is all-around awesome: Judy Greer (13 Going on 30) as the snide, bitchy, yet faithful friend Deadly Girl; Sean Gunn as Doug, the very weird green alien orphan; Jamie Kennedy as the filthy-mouthed blue-hued ex-supervillain Amok; and Jordan Ladd as the sweet, naive Nightbird, the newest member imbued with dubious bird powers.

This movie has some funny bits in it, such as the Strobe freaking out after watching the tv promo spot of his team's line of toys, and slow thinker U.S. Bill showing new rookie Nightbird around the headquarters. Or the Strobe reminiscing with an ex-team mate: "How about the time we captured and drained the Amazing Blister?" But the bits I found funniest are the comments spat out by the profane Amok, who cusses with sailorlike regularity. He tells the touchy-feely Power Chick: "You're 12-stepping me to death, b***h!" To counteract that, look out for a touching, feel good scene involving dancing on a club stage.

The special features has 2 audio commentaries (one by writer/actor James Gunn and actress Paget Brewster, the other by director Craig Mazin, the producer, the visual effects supervisor, and again writer/actor James Gunn), deleted scenes, a Wedding Video, a trailer, and behind-the-scenes photos.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exquisite pain 22 July 2008
By Neufemism - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
After watching this film, i have a new appreciation for maxi-pads, scurvy, and doughnuts.

If you enjoy seeing others in awkward uncomfortable social situations with minimal plot drama (think Napolean Dynamite), i think you'll like this movie too. I love this movie for it's dry documentary humor about a dysfunctional, family-ish super hero group. My sister who prefers intellectual humor & doesn't really like toilet jokes couldn't stop laughing in that shocked "oh my god, did they just say/do that?" kind of way. Plus, the commentary version added a whole new layer of perspective that enhanced my appreciation for the end result. I don't want to spoil anything but it is definately worth a rental to see. (one drawback though was a lack of subtitle options on my version)
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Overlooked Comedy 13 Mar 2001
By "ringbearer_org" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The movie: I saw this movie last year at the San Diego comic convention with a very enthuiastic crowd. The Specials features a great cast of relative unknowns that put on some excellent performances. The laughs come often and there are some truly original jokes that will have your jaw on the floor. While the story seems to falter in some areas, the strength of the characters will have you interested all the way through this movie.
The DVD: It's packed with some very cool stuff. High points: The commentary track, deleted scenes, and toy commercial (based on the superhero characters from the movie) are all very cool.
Final Thoughts: This movie came and went without much fanfare, but you won't be disappointed in the movie or the quality of this DVD. I recommend it fully.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the Best Superhero Movie, But BetterThan Most 6 Mar 2001
By Christopher Kindred - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I had the great pleasure of seeing THE SPECIALS at a sneak preview with the cast and crew during the 2000 San Diego ComiCon. The preview audience of diehard comic book fans loved the movie. Since the preview, I have relentlessly hounded my friends and told them to see the movie if ever they got the chance. Now, at long last, THE SPECIALS is available on DVD. If you are a fan of comic books, superheroes and superhero films, order the DVD today. You will be glad you did. The plot is different from most superhero films and it is this difference that makes the film shine. Whereas most films deal with the hero or heroes facing a great evil menace, this film deals with the politics and personality conflicts of being part of the superhero community. Like MYSTERY MEN, the heroes are dysfunctional, but well-meaning. But in the end, MYSTERY MEN was still a heroes vs. villains movie. THE SPECIALS is not. It is a movie of heroes vs. their own natures. It manages somehow to be funny and poignant throughout the film. It is an excellent balance of thought provoking insight on superheroes and human nature and still manages to be incredibly funny. I have waited almost a year for this DVD. It was well worth the wait.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Spinal Tap's League, but wish they had a budget 12 Jun 2001
By Tevis Fen-Kortiay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This isn't a film for everyone: if you grew up reading comic books and you like Spinal Tap or the underplayed style of British humor, you'll laugh your tuckus off. Like 'Free Enterprise' by the same company, this film is fun if you don't get the endless comicbook in-jokes, a scream if you do. However, if you're looking for splashy fight scenes, special effects or American-style (some might say "infantile") humor, you'll be sorely disappointed. (Watch Mystery Men instead.)

I do wish they had a bit more of a budget; the documentary/drama style of the film seems to be building towards a climactic superhero battle that never happens. The script is so skillfully-written otherwise I suspect the climactic scene was written but cut for budget reasons.

So keep the "no superheroic payoff" in mind, fill your living room with comic book geeks some night and otaku mightily.
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